In Alvin Toffler’s book, “The Third Wave,” he discusses our progression as a society. One can easily see the pattern to the mentioned waves. He describes wave one as the start of agriculture. It also marks the beginning of our culture. Wave two, marks the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, atomic destruction, and mainstream items. The change that takes place between these two waves is the start of what we call progress. It impacted our families, our planet, and set the pace for economics.
With first “wave” of families, communities were formed.Every member of each community contributed to the necessities of the group. Family run farms produced what the town needed. Mass production was not a practice. Communities only produced what was necessary Families had shared responsibilities. Jobs were typically family trades passed down from father to son for many generations. Every person played a key role in the town’s existence. In the second wave, we see the start of a more selfish minded society. Industrialism begins to break the family traditions and draw its member’s away to cities run by factories. These establishments would supply what would become mainstream items.Labor was done in the name of progress, and colonies suffered an incremental change.
Another ongoing change also takes place in our value of life. Our desire for existence in wave one was only of a minimal requirement. We only took what was needed from our planet. Land was of precious value, and treated as such. Nature was a gift that dispensed its gifts continually meeting our demands. With the start of progress, we soon found a tool for mass destruction. Atomic bombs were manifested as weapons of annihilation. It was a time of total negligence, and mass destruction. Requirements changed to a need for excessive power. The potential to obliterate our whole existence evolved from a culture that once loved the land.
The culture that loved the land adjusted to a culture run by economics. Mass production began on the progressive mainstream items. Medicines, appliances, government services are all direct results of the second wave in society. It provided highway systems, cars, and telephones. This advancement would touch every nook of every population. We became a largely connected, and financially driven society. Markets were formed to turn highest profit. Fast paced production made way for machines to increase profits. The more the quantity, the more the profit.
It is in my opinion, our idea of profit plummeted from a simple honest existence to one of selfishness. Actions in the name of progress do not always take us forward. There is a fine line between progress and greed when reflecting on our culture. Man’s knowledge increased dramatically, and with it came mass destruction, all for power. Upon reflection, I cannot help but imagine why fear played such a key role in our societies advancement. Of course, in our minds, we all like to play out a “perfect world analysis” on unsettling situations. Where was this analysis when these ideas were formed? I am a believer in the simple things, but I did not exist in an era of minimum need.
First year college student.